LAMENTATIONS over a dead body are everywhere a sad and sickening performance to witness and to hear. Among the aborigines of New Mexico--among the sedentary tribes at least--the official death-wail is carried on for four days. The number four plays a conspicuous rôle in the lives of those people. And it is natural that it should. Four are the cardinal points, four the seasons, four times five digits depend from hands and feet. The Queres has not even a distinct term for finger or for toe. He designates the former as one above the hand, the latter as one above the foot. Four days the redman fasts or does penance; four days he mourns, for that is the time required by the soul to travel from the place where it has been liberated from the thralls of earthly life to the place of eternal felicity. At the time of which we are speaking, the body was still cremated, and with it everything that made up the personal effects of the deceased. 1 If a man, his clothes, his weapons, his loom, in case he had practised the art of weaving, were burned; if a woman, the cooking utensils were "killed;"
that is, either perforated at the bottom or broken over the funeral pyre and afterward consumed. In this manner the deceased was accompanied by his worldly goods, in the shape of smoke and steam, through that air in which the soul travelled toward Shipapu, in the far-distant mythical North. The road must be long to Shipapu, else it would not require four entire days to reach it; and there are neither eating-places nor half-way houses on the way, where the dead may stop for refreshments. Therefore the survivors placed on the spot where the body had rested for the last time an effigy of the dead, a wooden carving, and covered it with a piece of cloth; while by the side of this effigy they deposited food and water, in order that neither cold, hunger, nor thirst might cause the travelling spirit to suffer. But the road is not only long, it is also dangerous; evil spirits lie in wait for the deceased to capture him if possible, and hamper his ultimate felicity. To protect himself against them a small war-club is added to the other necessaries, and to render the journey safe beyond a doubt a magic circle is drawn, encompassing the statuette with a circle of cruciform marks, imitating the footprints of the shashka, or road-runner. As these crosses point in all four directions, it is supposed that evil spirits will become bewildered and unable to pursue the soul in its transit. At the end of the fourth day, with many prayers and ceremonies, the circle is obliterated, and the other objects, including the effigy, are taken away by the shamans to be disposed of in a manner known to them alone.
During the period of official mourning the loud wail was carried on incessantly, or at least at frequent intervals; fasting was practised; the women wept, sobbed, screamed, and yelled. Both sexes gathered daily around the place where the effigy lay, praying loudly for the safe journey and arrival at Shipapu of the defunct. The women alone shed
tears on such occasions, the men only stared with a gloomy face and thoughtful mien. They recalled and remembered the dead. What the great master of historical composition has said of the ancient Germans may be applied here also: "Feminis lugere honestum est, viris meminisse."
In the humble abode where Topanashka Tihua had dwelt with his deaf old wife, and where his bloody remains had rested previous to being borne to the funeral pyre, his effigy lay covered by the handsomest piece of cotton cloth that could be found among the homes of the Rito, and a quaintly painted and decorated specimen of pottery contained the drinking-water for his soul. It was dusky in the room, for the window as well as the hatchway afforded little light. Subdued voices sounded from the apartment, monotonous recitals, which the loud refrain, "Heiti-na, Heiti-na," at times interrupted. The poor deaf widow sat with tearful eyes in a comer; her lips moved, but no sound came from them; only, when the leader of the choir broke out with appropriate gesticulations, she chimed in loudly. When at such a signal the other women present began to tear their hair, she did the same, and shouted at the top of her voice like the others, "Heiti-na, Heiti-na!"
Group after group of mourners visited the room, until both clans, Tanyi and Tyame, had performed their duty. Hannay, too, had made her appearance; she had shed tears like a rain-cloud, had howled and whined more than any one else. Her grief was surely assumed, for when Tyope asked her in the evening she told him everything in detail that she had noticed,--how this one had looked, how such and such a one had yelled,--plainly showing that the flood of tears had in no manner impeded her faculties of perception, the sighs and sobs around her in no manner deafened her attentive ear. Tyope listened with
apparent indifference, and said nothing. She attended to the weeping part, he not so much to the duty of pious recollection as to that of deep thinking over the new phase which matters had entered upon in consequence of the bloody event.
For this sudden death of the maseua was for his designs a most fortunate occurrence. The only man who in the prospective strife between the clans might have taken an attitude dangerous, perhaps disastrous, to his purposes, was now dead; and the office which that man held had become vacant. There was but one individual left in the tribe who might yet prove a stumbling-block to him; that was the Hishtanyi Chayan. But the great medicine-man was not so much a man of action as a man of words, and the force of his oracular utterances Tyope hoped to destroy through the powerful speeches of the Koshare Naua and the strong medicine of the Shkuy Chayan. The plans of Tyope had been immensely furthered by the terrible accident; they had advanced so much that he felt it indispensable to modify them to some extent. Terror and dismay were great at the Rito, and the council had been adjourned sine die. There could be no thought of a fresh accusation against Shotaye until the four days of official mourning were past, and the campaign against the enemy, which the bloody outrage imperatively called for.
The murder by the Tehuas, as Tyope and the others believed, of the principal war-chief of the tribe, at a time when the two tribes were without any communication with each other, was too great an outrage not to demand immediate revenge. The murder could not have been the result of a misunderstanding or accident, else the scalp would not have been taken by the murderer. It was premeditated, an act of deliberate hostility, a declaration of war on the part of the Tehuas. The dead man's scalp had certainly
wandered over to the caves of the northern tribe; it was certainly paraded there in the solemn scalp-dance by which the Tehuas, beyond all doubt, publicly honoured and rewarded the murderer.
Tyope knew that the Queres were of one mind and that the official mourning alone kept them from replying to this act of unjustifiable hostility by an attack upon the Puye, but he also knew that as soon as the four days were past a campaign against the Tehuas would be set on foot. The Hishtanyi Chayan had retired to work, and that meant war! He and the Shikama Chayan fasted and mourned together; their mourning was not only on account of the great loss suffered by the tribe in the person of the deceased; they bewailed a loss of power. That power had gone over into the enemy's ranks with the scalp of the murdered man.
Although the death of Topanashka was for Tyope an event of incalculable benefit, he had exhibited tokens of regret and sorrow. His manner was dignified; he did not mourn in any extravagant fashion, but conducted himself so that nobody could suspect the death of the old man to be anything else than a source of regret to him. Furthermore, he intended by his own example to foster the idea among his tribal brethren that the outrage was so grave that it demanded immediate and prompt redress. The carrying out of this redress was of the greatest importance to him. The sooner it was executed the better it would suit his plans.
During the last interview of Tyope with the young Navajo, the latter had charged him with having asked the Dinne to kill the old maseua during an incursion which his tribe were to make into the valley of the Rito. It was true that Tyope had suggested it, but he had not told the Navajo all that he designed through this act of treachery. His object was not merely to rid himself of the person of [paragraph continues]
Topanashka; he sought an opportunity of becoming the ostensible saviour of his tribe in the hour of need. If the Dinne had made the premeditated onslaught, he would, after he had given them time to perform the murder, have appeared upon the scene, driven off the assailants, and thus recommended himself to the people for the vacant position of war-chief. The game was a double one on his part; first he was to betray his kinsfolk to the Navajos, and secondly to turn against the Navajos in defense of the betrayed ones. Tyope realized that it was a very dangerous game, and he had therefore desisted and even gone so far as to repel the young Navajo at the risk of his own life.
As matters stood, all had gone far better than he ever hoped for. Without complicity on his part, Topanashka, had been put out of his way; and the office coveted by Tyope was vacant. An important military enterprise was to follow at once. Tyope intended to go on this campaign at all hazards, in order to distinguish himself as much as possible. This he was able to do, for he possessed all the physical qualities necessary for a powerful Indian warrior, and he was very crafty, cunning, bold and experienced. He belonged to the society of war magicians, and held in his possession most of the charms and fetiches used for securing invincibility. There was no doubt in his mind that he would return from the war-path crowned with glory and with scalps, provided he was not killed. Should he return alive, then the time would come for him to set the Koshare Naua to work to secure him the desired position. Once made maseua he would resume his former plans, push the case against Shotaye to the bitter end, and try to divide the tribe. For the present the two objects had to be set aside. The expedition against the Tehuas must take the lead of everything else.
While Tyope was prompted, by the grief and mourning
that prevailed, to display fresh activity and resort to new intrigues; while at the same time his wife improved the occasion for her customary prying, listening, and gossip,--their daughter, Mitsha, on the other hand, really mourned sincerely and grieved bitterly. She mourned for the dead with the candour of a child and the feeling of a woman. When she, too, had gone to the house of the dead to pray, her tears flowed abundantly; and they were genuine. The girl did not weep merely on account of the deceased, for she could not know his real worth and merits; she grieved quite as much on Okoya's account. The boy had been to see her every evening of late. He was there on the night when the corpse was brought home, and they heard the wail and rushed out on the roof. At that moment Hannay had returned, full to the brim with the dismal news. Okoya forgot everything and returned home, and Mitsha went back to the room and wept. While her mother proceeded in her account with noisy volubility, Mitsha cried; for Okoya had often spoken of his grandfather, telling her how wise, strong, and good sa umo maseua was. She felt that the young man looked up to him as to an ideal, and she wept quite as much because of her feeling for Okoya as for the murdered main-stay of her people.
While she thus mourned from the bottom of her heart, the thought came to her how she would feel in case her father was brought home in the same way. Mitsha was a good child, and Tyope had always treated her not only with affection but with kindness. He gave her many precious things, as the Indian calls the bright-coloured pebbles, shell beads, base turquoises, crystals, etc., with which he decorates his body. He liked to see his daughter shine among the daughters of the tribe. With him it was speculation, not affection; but Mitsha knew nothing of this, and felt that in case her parent should ever be borne back to
this house dead, and placed on the floor before her covered with gore, she must feel just as Okoya felt now. And yet the dead man was only his grandparent. No, it was not possible for him to be as sad as she would be in case Tyope should meet with such a fate. And then she wondered whether the whole tribe would regret her father's death as much as they regretted the loss of Topanashka. Something within her told that it would not. She had already noticed that Tyope was not liked; but why, she knew not. Okoya himself had intimated as much. She knew that the boy shunned her father; and her attachment to Okoya had become so deep that his utterances began to modify her feelings toward her own parents.
If she would sorrow and grieve for her father's loss, if Okoya was mourning over his grandfather's demise, how must the child of the murdered man, of such a man as Topanashka, feel? His only child was a woman like herself. A true woman always feels for her sex and sympathizes with other women's grief; and besides, that woman was the mother of the youth who had won her heart. Okoya had told her a great deal about his mother,--how good she was and how content she was to see him and her become one. The girl was anxious to know his mother, but a visit to a prospective mother-in-law is by no means an unimportant step. If it is accompanied by a present it bears the character of an official acceptance of courtship. That step Mitsha was afraid as yet to take; it was too early; there were too many contingencies in the way.
Still she longed to go to Say Koitza now. But visits of condolence are not in vogue among Indians as long as there is loud mourning, except at the house where the mourning is going on. How much Mitsha would have given to be permitted to go to Say, sit down quietly in a comer, and modestly and without speaking a word, weep in her company. [paragraph continues]
At the same time she felt another longing. Since the night of the murder Okoya had of course not been to see her, and she naturally longed to meet him also in this hour of sadness and trial. Once when she had gone to the brook for water, Zashue had crossed her path; but he looked so dark and frowning that she did not venture even to greet him.
It was the last day of mourning, and nearly everybody at the Rito who could or ought had paid his respects to the dead. The Chayani of lesser rank alone returned from time to time to perform specially strong incantations in aid of the still travelling soul. Mitsha had gone down to the brook to get water. It occurred only once a day during these days, for the people of Tyame fasted, taking but one frugal meal daily. Everybody was very careful also not to wash, and Mitsha herself was as unkempt as any one else of her clan.
Bearing the huashtanyi on her head, she was returning, when as she passed the comer of the big house her eyes discovered a man standing with his back turned to her, gazing at the cliffs. He seemed to face the dwellings of the Eagle clan. As the girl approached, the noise of her step caused him to turn, and she recognized Okoya.
The youth stepped up to her; his eyes were hollow, and now they became moist. He attempted to control himself, to restrain the tears that were coming to his eyes at the sight of her; but he sobbed convulsively. When she saw it tears came to her eyes at once. The two children stood there, he struggling to hide his grief, for it was unmanly to weep, and yet he was young and could not control his feelings; she, as a woman, feeling at liberty to weep. She wept, but silently and modestly. It grieved her to see him shed tears.
He, too, felt for her; but it was soothing to his own grief
that Mitsha mourned. He too was longing to meet her; the four days of separation had been very long to him.
"He was so good," Okoya at last succeeded in saying. Fresh tears came to his eyes.
Mitsha merely nodded and covered her face with a corner of her wrap.
"Have you been to him?" he asked.
She nodded; Okoya continued,--
"To-morrow I will come again."
Eager nods, mingled with sobs and accompanied by rubbing of the eyes, were her reply. The nodding proved that his call would be very, very welcome. She uncovered her face, her eyes beamed through tears, and she smiled. As sincerely as she felt her grief, the announcement that he would return as soon as the mourning-time was over made her happy, and her features expressed it. She went her way quietly, Okoya following her with his eyes.
He longed to say to her, "Come with me, and let us go together to my mother; she weeps so much." But it could not be; it was useless to mention it. About his mother Okoya felt deeply concerned, for she did not bear her grief as the others bore theirs. She was not noisy like the rest. Utterly oblivious of her daily task, she neither cooked nor baked nor cared for anything. Her husband and children had to go hungry, while she sat in a corner sobbing and weeping. It was indeed a blessing for her that she was able to weep; otherwise her reason might have given way under the terrible and crushing blow. With the loss of her father she felt as if lost forever, as if her only support, her only hope, had gone. The past came back to her, not like an ugly dream, but as a fearful reality threatening sure destruction. Between her and the accusation which she felt certain had been fulminated against her before the council, there stood henceforth no one, and at the end of the mourning
she expected to be dragged before the council at once and condemned to death! And what sort of death? Exposed to public wrath as a witch, bound and gagged, tied to a tree, with the rough bark lacerating her breast, and then beaten, beaten to a jelly, rib broken after rib, limb after limb, until the soul left the body's wreck under the curses of bystanders. Oh, if she could only die now a swift, an honourable death like that of her father!
If she could only have seen Shotaye! She expected the cave-woman surely to come down to cheer her up. She felt a longing for her friend, a desire to see her, to hear her voice. But day after day ran on, night after night followed, and Shotaye did not come. It did not surprise her that Shotaye did not appear on the first day, but on the evening of the second she began to tremble. When the night of the third came, her apprehensions became distressing. On the fourth, Shotaye must surely come; expectation, and finally disappointment, almost tortured to death the poor woman, for Shotaye came not.
Everything seemed to conspire to render her hopelessly miserable. She lost sight of her surroundings, grew speechless, and almost devoid of feeling. The others explained her state as one of profound and very natural grief, and let her alone. But it was uncomfortable in the house when the mistress took no notice of anything, and did not even provide the most necessary things, not even drinking-water. Therefore Zashue, as well as Okoya, preferred to go out of doors, there to await the termination of the disagreeable period of mourning at the end of which they confidently expected Say to return to her normal condition.
After he had separated from Mitsha, Okoya sauntered, without really knowing whither, up the gorge and down the northern side of the cultivated plots. He gradually neared the cliffs, and found himself beyond the dwellings of the [paragraph continues]
Water clan, and therefore beyond the uppermost caves that were inhabited. The gorge, narrow and covered mostly with underbrush and pines, afforded to his sight but a single conspicuous object, and toward this he turned at once.
To his right lay some caves that had been long ago forsaken, and whose front wall had partly crumbled. Below the short slope leading up to them are the traces of an old round estufa. A plain concavity in the ground indicates its site to-day. At the time when Okoya strolled about, the roofing alone was destroyed, and part of the interior was filled with blocks of stone that had tumbled from the cliffs, crushing the roof. Okoya, from where he stood, had the interior of the ruin open before him, and he saw in it, partly sitting and partly reclining, the figure of his friend Hayoue. It was a welcome discovery.
He had not met Hayoue since the death of his grandfather, for the brother of Zashue had avoided the great house and its inmates on purpose. He mourned earnestly and sincerely, and wished to be alone with his thoughts. But Okoya was not disposed to let him alone. He knew that if his uncle spoke to any one he would speak to him, and that if he felt indisposed to enter into any conversation he would say so at once. Hayoue was very outspoken.
The boy jumped down from block to block noisily, for he wanted to attract his uncle's attention beforehand. The latter looked up. As soon as he saw who the disturber of his musings was, he waved his hand, beckoning him to come. Okoya obeyed with alacrity, for he saw that Hayoue felt disposed to talk. Throwing himself down beside him he waited patiently until the other saw fit to open the conversation. They both remained for a while in silence, until Hayoue heaved a deep sigh and said,--
"Does Zashue, my brother, mourn also?"
"Not as we do," replied Okoya; "yet he is sad."
"It is well. He is right to feel sad. Sad for himself, for you, for all of us."
"Sa umo was so good," whispered the boy, and tears came to him again; but he controlled his feelings and swallowed his sobs. He did not wish the other to see him weep.
"Indeed sa umo maseua was good," Hayoue emphasized, "better than any of us, truer than any of us! None of us at the Tyuonyi is as strong and wise as he was."
"How could the Moshome kill him, if he was such a great warrior," Okoya naively inquired.
"See, satyumishe, he was struck from behind. In this way a Moshome may kill a bear, and so yai shruy destroys the strongest mokatsh. Sa umo had no weapons, neither bow nor arrow nor club. He did not suppose that there were any Moshome lurking about as tiatui lies in wait for the deer. Had sa nashtio gone south or toward the west, he would have carried what was right, but over there,"--he pointed northward,--"who would have believed the people over there to be so mean as these shuatyam of Tehuas now prove to be? Destruction come upon them!" He spoke very excitedly, his eyes flashed, and he gnashed his teeth. Shaking his clenched fist at the north, he hissed, "And destruction will come upon them soon! We shall go to Kapo and come back with many scalps. We will not get one only, and crawl back, as shutzuna does after he has stolen a turkey. We shall go soon, very soon!"
Okoya yielded to the excitement which the latter part of his friend's speech bespoke. His eyes sparkled also, and his chest heaved at the mention of blood.
"Satyumishe," he exclaimed, "let us go, I and you together. Let us go and get what may please our father's heart!"
Hayoue looked at him; it was an earnest and significant look.
"You are right, brother. You are wise and you are good. You also know how to hit with an arrow, but you are not uakanyi."
"But I shall be one, if I go with you," boldly uttered the boy.
His uncle shook his head, and smiled.
"Don't you know, sa uishe, that every one cannot go with the warriors, when they go on the war-path? Every one cannot say, 'I am going,' and then go as he pleases and when he pleases. Every one cannot think, 'I am strong and wise, and I will follow the enemy.' If the Shiuana do not help him, the strongest is weak, and the wisest is a child before the foe. See, satyumishe, I am as good a uakanyi as any one, but I do not know whether, when the Hishtanyi Chayan says in the uuityam which men shall go and take from the Tehuas what is proper, I may go with them. Perhaps I shall have to stay, and some other one will go in my stead."
"Must not all go?" Okoya asked; he was astonished
"Every one must go whom the maseua chooses." With a sad expression he added, "Our maseua is no more, and ere the Hotshanyi has spoken to the yaya and nashtio, and said to them, 'such and such a one shall be maseua,' it is the Hishtanyi Chayan who decides who shall go and who shall stay at home."
His nephew comprehended; he nodded and inquired,--
"Does not the Hishtanyi Chayan fast and do penance now?"
"Our nashtio yaya," Hayoue replied with an important and mysterious mien, "has much work at present."
"Do you know what he is working?" naïvely asked Okoya.
"He is with Those Above."
The reply closed the conversation on that subject. Okoya changed the topic, asking,--
"Satyumishe, you are not much older than I. How comes it that you are uakanyi already?"
Hayoue felt quite flattered. He was indeed very young for a war magician, and he felt not a little pride on account of it. Assuming a self-satisfied and important air, he turned to his nephew with the query,--
"When you go out hunting, what is the first thing you do?"
"I take my bow and arrow and leave the house," readily answered the boy.
"This is not what I ask for," growled Hayoue. "What kind of work do you do ere you rise to the kauash?"
The boy understood at last.
"I place the stone, and speak to Those Above."
"If before you go hunting you do not speak to them, are you lucky?"
"No," Okoya mumbled. He recalled the unlucky turkey-hunt of some time ago, when he had forgotten to say his prayers before starting, of which we have spoken in the first chapter.
"Why have you no luck?" Hayoue further asked.
"Because the Shiuana are not satisfied," replied the other. His uncle nodded.
"Are you a hunter?" he asked.
"Not yet, I am only learning."
"Why do you learn?"
"In order to know."
"When you once know, what can you do then?
"I can--" Okoya was embarrassed. "I can make the Shiuana help me."
"That is it!" Hayoue exclaimed. "If the Shiuana do
not help, you can do nothing; no matter how swift you run, how far you see, and how sure your aim is. But of the Shiuana there are many, as many as grains of sand on the shore of the great river below here, and when we do not know them we cannot speak to them and beg for assistance. just as there are Shiuana who assist the hunter, there are those who help us, that we may strike the enemy and take away from him what makes him strong, that it may strengthen us. Look at Tyame, the nashtio of Tzitz hanutsh; he is swift and strong, but he knows not how to call to Those Above and around to help him take the scalp of the Moshome. We must be wise, and listen to what those speak who know how to address the Shiuana, and what to give them. We must learn in order to act. I have learned, and thus I have become uakanyi. And he who will soon be where in time we also shall find rest,--he taught me many things. He was good and wise, very good, our father the maseua," he added, sighing deeply.
"Will you help me to learn and become uakanyi?" Okoya turned to him now with flashing eyes.
"I will, surely I will. You shall become one of us. But you know, brother, that you must be silent and keep your tongue tied. You must not say to this or that one, 'I am learning, I have learned such and such things, for I am going to become uakanyi.'"
Okoya of course assented. Then he asked,--
"I am not uakanyi, and can the Hishtanyi Chayan tell me to go along too with the men to strike the Tehuas?"
"Certainly, for there are not many of us, and in the Zaashtesh all must stand up for each, and each for all. But when many go on the war-path there are always some of us with them in order that the Shiuana be in our favour."
"Do the Shiuana help the Tehuas also? For the Tehuas are people like ourselves, are they not?"
"They are indeed Zaashtesh, like the Queres. But I do not know how the Shiuana feel toward them. Old men who knew told me that the Moshome Tehua prayed to Those Above and around us, and that they call them Ohua. Whether they are the same as ours I cannot tell; but I cannot believe them to be; for the kopishtai who dwell over there must be good to their people, whereas the kopishtai here are good to us. Only those who hold in their hands the paths of our lives help those who do right and give them what is due, wherever and whoever they be."
"How soon shall we go against the Tehuas?"
"The Yaya Chayan and the uishtyaka perhaps alone know that. As soon as the Hishtanyi has done his work he will call the uuityam, and then those shall go that must. Perhaps I may go, perhaps not. It may be that both of us will be sent along. But we will go soon," he fiercely muttered, "soon, to take from the Tehuas what is precious to the heart of our father, who now goes toward Shipapu."
Okoya felt wildly excited and could barely restrain himself. Thirst for revenge joined the intense wish to become a warrior. But Hayoue's placed a damper on his enthusiasm, else he might have left that night alone, with bow and arrow and a stone knife, to hover about the Puye until some luckless Tehua fell into his hands. He saw, however, that nothing could be done without the consent and support of the higher powers, and that he must curb his martial ardour and abide by the decisions of Those Above. The present topic of conversation being exhausted, both sat in silence for a while, each following his own train of thoughts. Okoya was the first to speak again.
"Does your hanutsh mourn?"
"The women have gone to weep with the dead," replied Hayoue. "I too am mourning," he added sorrowfully; [paragraph continues]
"but I mourn as is becoming to a man. Crying and weeping belong only to women."
"I have cried," whispered Okoya timidly, as he looked at his friend with a doubting glance. He was ashamed of the confession, and yet could not restrain himself from making it. Hayoue shrugged his shoulders.
"You are young, satyumishe, and your heart is young. It is like the heart of a girl. When you have seen many dead men and many dying, you will do as I do,--you will not cry any more." He coughed, and his face twitched nervously; with all his affectation of stoicism he had to struggle against tears. In order to suppress them completely he spoke very loudly at once,--
"Tzitz hanutsh has nothing to do with the dead, and yet the women lament and its men think over the loss that the tribe has sustained. I tell you, Okoya, we have lost much; we are like children without their mother, like a drove of turkeys whose gobbler tiatui or mokatsh have killed. Now,"--his eyes flashed again and he gnashed his teeth,--"now Tyope and the old Naua are uppermost. just wait until the men have returned from the war-path, and you will see. Evil is coming to us. Did you notice, satyumishe, on the night when they carried sa nashtio maseua back to the Tyuonyi how angry the Shiuana were; how the lightning flamed through the clouds and killed the trees on the mesa? I tell you, brother, evil is coming to our people, for a good man has gone from us to Shipapu, but the bad ones have been spared."
Okoya shuddered involuntarily. He recollected well that awful night. Never before had a storm raged on the Rito with such fury. Frightful had been the roar of the thunder, prolonged like some tremendous subterranean noise. Incessant lightning had for hours converted night into day, and many were the lofty pines that had been shattered or
consumed by the fiery bolts from above. The wind, which seldom does any damage at such places, had swept through the gorge and over the mesas with tremendous force, and lastly the peaceful, lovely brook, swollen by the waters that gushed from the mountains in torrents, as well as by the rain falling in sheets, had waxed into a roaring, turbid stream. It had flooded the fields, destroying crops and spreading masses of rocky débris over the tillable soil. Yes, the heavens had come upon the Rito in their full wrath, as swift and terrible avengers. Both of them remembered well that awful night, and dropped into moody silence at the dismal recollection.
"Are there any other bad men at the Tyuonyi?" Okoya asked; but low, as if he were afraid of the answer.
"There may be others," Hayoue muttered, "but those two are certainly the worst."
Okoya felt disappointed; Tyope, he saw, must indeed be, a bad creature.
"Do you know whether Tyope is mourning?" asked his uncle.
"I have not seen him," grumbled the other.
"I am sure he will look as if his mother had died," scolded Hayoue. "He is a great liar, worse than a Navajo. He puts on a good face and keeps the bad one inside. I would like to know what the Shiuana think of that bad man."
"Have we any bad women among us?" Okoya said, to change the conversation.
"Hannay is bad!" his uncle cried.
A pang went through the heart of the other youth. His prospective father and mother in-law appeared really a pair of exquisite scoundrels.
"Are there any others?"
"I don't know, still I have heard." Hayoue looked
about as if afraid of some eavesdropper,--"what I tell you now is only for yourself,--that Shotaye is bad, very bad! After being Tyope's wife for a while, I should not be surprised if--"
"Does she speak to those that can do us harm?" Okoya interrupted in a timid whisper.
"It may be. There is no doubt but she is a harlot; I know it myself, and every man on the Tyuonyi knows it. Other women are also spoken of, but nobody says it aloud. It is not right to speak thus of people when we do not know positively. I have not seen Shotaye since our father died. She is mourning perhaps, for her cave is shut and the deerskin hangs over the doorway. She is likely to be inside in quiet until the trouble is over and the men can go to her again."
Okoya rose to go.
"Are you coming along?" he asked his uncle.
Hayoue shook his head; he still wished to remain alone.
"It may be," he said, "that we shall have to leave in two days against the Tehuas, and I shall remain so that I may be ready when the tapop calls upon us. You rely upon it, satyumishe, we shall go soon, and when it so happens that we both must go you shall come with me that I may teach you how the scalp is taken."
Thus dismissed, Okoya sauntered back down the valley.
When opposite the caves of the Water clan he furtively glanced over to the one inhabited by Shotaye. The deerskin, as Hayoue had stated. hung over the opening, and no smoke issued from the hole that served as vent and smoke-escape. The woman must be mourning very deeply, or else she was gone. She did not often enter his thoughts, and yet he wished Shotaye might come now and see his mother. He was convinced, without knowing why, that his mother would have been glad to see her.
At all events the dismal period of mourning was drawing rapidly to a close, and with it official sadness would vanish. He could hardly await the morrow. On that day he hoped that the question would be decided when the great work of revenge should commence and whether he would be permitted to take part in it. The words of his uncle had opened an entirely new perspective to Okoya. To become uakanyi was now his aim, his intense ambition. As warrior, and as successful warrior, he confidently expected that no one would dare refuse him Mitsha. This hope overcame the grief he had harboured during the days that elapsed, for that grief belonged to the past; and as the past now appeared to him, it seemed only a stepping-stone to a proud and happy future.
347:1 I borrow these facts from Spanish sources. Both Castañeda and Mota Padilla mention cremation as being practised in the sixteenth century by the Pueblos. The latter author even gives a detailed description. Withal, the fact that the Pueblos also buried the body is more than abundantly established. Both modes of burial were resorted to, and contemporaneously even, according to the nature of the country and soil. There is comparatively little soil at the Rito. The mourning ceremonies, etc., I have witnessed myself.